Oct 16: Russia, Far Eastern Federal District

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Area: 17,075,400 sq km

The world’s largest country, extending across 9 time zones between the Baltic and the Pacific. The Russian Federation is composed of 83 administrative districts, including 46 oblasts (provinces), 21 republics, 9 territories, 4 autonomous okrugs, 1 autonomous oblast and 2 federal cities.

Population: 140,366,561    Annual Growth: -0.39%

Capital: Moscow

Urbanites: 72.8%

HDI Rank: 71 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Peoples: 162 (47% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Russian; local languages in autonomous republics    Languages: 135 All languages


Largest Religion: Christian

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr


Challenge for Prayer

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) survived Communism and remains the one major symbol of Russian identity. It regards itself as the preserver of Christian civilization handed down from Rome and Byzantium. Its liturgy and teachings continue to mould Russian culture. The number of openly professing Orthodox increased from 30 million in 1985 to 87 million in 2010 (up to 100 million in some sources). The Church is using every possible means to regain its exclusive spiritual dominance lost nearly a century ago. Pray for:

a) An emphasis on the many positive elements of this ancient confession – foremost among them are the beauty and greatness of God, the mystery of Christ and His resurrection. Protestants can learn much from Orthodox theology.

b) An end to the ROC’s intolerance, which is instead increasing thus far in the 21st Century. The ROC’s claims – as the one true apostolic Church and that all other Christian expressions are invalid or sectarian – stimulates repression and bigotry. Inflexibility and heavy-handedness often characterize the ROC’s relationship with other groups and even with its own constituents. The ROC is complicit in the laws passed and implemented that discriminate against other Christian groups.

c) True spiritual life. The ROC claims to speak for all Russians, and the majority of ethnic Russians confess some sort of affiliation, but only 6-10% are actively involved. Factors contributing to this lack of involvement include Church leaders cozying up to and collaborating with the state, poor education of church leaders, lack of unity (both within the ROC and without) and sincerity, and neglect of the younger generation’s unique spiritual needs. Pray for leadership that will address all these issues in a biblical manner.

d) Renewal movements within the ROC. Traditionalists are the more powerful but are increasingly out of touch, clinging to a Slavonic Church liturgy which few understand, and grasping for political power. The reformers are often marginalized but are more Bible-focused, open for change and tolerant. Pray that future leaders may come from this more spiritual movement.

     For an additional 11 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Russia.

Far Eastern Federal District


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Challenge for Prayer

      Sakha has a high degree of autonomy and is potentially wealthy with gold, diamonds, other minerals, oil and gas. Russians are 40% of the population; Sakha (also known as Yakut) are nearly 50%. The Sakha are a Turkic people, Christianized by the Orthodox Church, but with strong animist roots. Evangelical work was pioneered by Light in the East. InterAct and other agencies have joined them. In 1987, there were 30 Sakha believers, but now there are over 500, and they actively evangelize their own people. The NT in Sakha was completed in 2004 (IBT), GRN produced audio resources in Sakha, and Christian music in the unique Sakha style is flourishing.

     For an additional 4 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Far Eastern Federal District.